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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2399, 2022 05 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35504912

RESUMEN

The distribution of the black rat (Rattus rattus) has been heavily influenced by its association with humans. The dispersal history of this non-native commensal rodent across Europe, however, remains poorly understood, and different introductions may have occurred during the Roman and medieval periods. Here, in order to reconstruct the population history of European black rats, we first generate a de novo genome assembly of the black rat. We then sequence 67 ancient and three modern black rat mitogenomes, and 36 ancient and three modern nuclear genomes from archaeological sites spanning the 1st-17th centuries CE in Europe and North Africa. Analyses of our newly reported sequences, together with published mitochondrial DNA sequences, confirm that black rats were introduced into the Mediterranean and Europe from Southwest Asia. Genomic analyses of the ancient rats reveal a population turnover in temperate Europe between the 6th and 10th centuries CE, coincident with an archaeologically attested decline in the black rat population. The near disappearance and re-emergence of black rats in Europe may have been the result of the breakdown of the Roman Empire, the First Plague Pandemic, and/or post-Roman climatic cooling.


Asunto(s)
Peste , Animales , Arqueología , ADN Mitocondrial/genética , Europa (Continente)/epidemiología , Humanos , Medio Oriente , Peste/epidemiología , Ratas
2.
Sci Adv ; 6(24): eaba3831, 2020 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32582854

RESUMEN

Archaeologists contend that it was our aptitude for symbolic, technological, and social behaviors that was central to Homo sapiens rapidly expanding across the majority of Earth's continents during the Late Pleistocene. This expansion included movement into extreme environments and appears to have resulted in the displacement of numerous archaic human populations across the Old World. Tropical rainforests are thought to have been particularly challenging and, until recently, impenetrable by early H. sapiens. Here, we describe evidence for bow-and-arrow hunting toolkits alongside a complex symbolic repertoire from 48,000 years before present at the Sri Lankan site of Fa-Hien Lena-the earliest bow-and-arrow technology outside of Africa. As one of the oldest H. sapiens rainforest sites outside of Africa, this exceptional assemblage provides the first detailed insights into how our species met the extreme adaptive challenges that were encountered in Asia during global expansion.

3.
Heliyon ; 5(11): e02751, 2019 Nov.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31844698

RESUMEN

Steel modular building structures are being increasingly adopted for a variety of building applications since their method of construction, despite being relatively new, offers many benefits over conventional constructional methods. Even though their behaviour under gravity (dead and live) loads is generally well understood, their response to lateral dynamic loads such as seismic and wind loads, is relatively less known. Due to their unique structural detailing, their structural response and failure patterns under lateral dynamic loading can vary considerably from that exhibited by conventional structures. Limited research has shown that under lateral loadings, modular structures tend to fail at the columns which are critical members whose failure can lead to partial or total collapse of the structure. This paper aims to mitigate this by shifting the failure away from the columns to inter-modular connections which can be allowed to deform in a ductile manner. Towards this end, this paper proposes two innovative inter-modular connections and investigates their performance under monotonic and cyclic lateral loading using comprehensive validated numerical techniques. The proposed connections have an additional steel plate and resilient layers to provide increased ductility and dissipation of seismic energy with desired ductile failure mechanisms. Three-dimensional numerical models of the proposed connections are developed in ABAQUS software considering geometric and material nonlinearities, as well as contact formulations to accurately capture their response to the lateral loads and failure propagations. The numerical model is verified based on experimental results in the literature and used for extensive parametric studies. Seismic reliance of the proposed connections in terms of ductility, failure patterns, and energy absorption are compared with those of a standard inter-modular connection currently used in modular buildings. The outcome of this study demonstrates that the proposed connections have superior dynamic performances compared to the standard inter-modular connections in use today. New information generated through this study will enable to improve life safety and dynamic performance of modular building structures under typical gravity loads as well as under seismic loading.

4.
PLoS One ; 14(10): e0222606, 2019.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31577796

RESUMEN

Microliths-small, retouched, often-backed stone tools-are often interpreted to be the product of composite tools, including projectile weapons, and efficient hunting strategies by modern humans. In Europe and Africa these lithic toolkits are linked to hunting of medium- and large-sized game found in grassland or woodland settings, or as adaptations to risky environments during periods of climatic change. Here, we report on a recently excavated lithic assemblage from the Late Pleistocene cave site of Fa-Hien Lena in the tropical evergreen rainforest of Sri Lanka. Our analyses demonstrate that Fa-Hien Lena represents the earliest microlith assemblage in South Asia (c. 48,000-45,000 cal. years BP) in firm association with evidence for the procurement of small to medium size arboreal prey and rainforest plants. Moreover, our data highlight that the lithic technology of Fa-Hien Lena changed little over the long span of human occupation (c. 48,000-45,000 cal. years BP to c. 4,000 cal. years BP) indicating a successful, stable technological adaptation to the tropics. We argue that microlith assemblages were an important part of the environmental plasticity that enabled Homo sapiens to colonise and specialise in a diversity of ecological settings during its expansion within and beyond Africa. The proliferation of diverse microlithic technologies across Eurasia c. 48-45 ka was part of a flexible human 'toolkit' that assisted our species' spread into all of the world's environments, and the development of specialised technological and cultural approaches to novel ecological situations.


Asunto(s)
Arqueología , Cuevas , Bosque Lluvioso , Comportamiento del Uso de la Herramienta , Artefactos , Asia , Calibración , Geografía , Humanos , Datación Radiométrica , Sri Lanka , Factores de Tiempo
5.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 739, 2019 02 19.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30783099

RESUMEN

Defining the distinctive capacities of Homo sapiens relative to other hominins is a major focus for human evolutionary studies. It has been argued that the procurement of small, difficult-to-catch, agile prey is a hallmark of complex behavior unique to our species; however, most research in this regard has been limited to the last 20,000 years in Europe and the Levant. Here, we present detailed faunal assemblage and taphonomic data from Fa-Hien Lena Cave in Sri Lanka that demonstrates specialized, sophisticated hunting of semi-arboreal and arboreal monkey and squirrel populations from ca. 45,000 years ago, in a tropical rainforest environment. Facilitated by complex osseous and microlithic technologies, we argue these data highlight that the early capture of small, elusive mammals was part of the plastic behavior of Homo sapiens that allowed it to rapidly colonize a series of extreme environments that were apparently untouched by its hominin relatives.


Asunto(s)
Huesos/anatomía & histología , Fósiles , Conducta Predatoria , Bosque Lluvioso , Animales , Arqueología , Evolución Biológica , Cuevas , Geografía , Haplorrinos/fisiología , Hominidae , Humanos , Mamíferos/fisiología , Sciuridae/fisiología , Sri Lanka
6.
J Hum Evol ; 106: 102-118, 2017 05.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28434535

RESUMEN

Sri Lanka has yielded some of the earliest dated fossil evidence for Homo sapiens (∼38-35,000 cal. years BP [calibrated years before present]) in South Asia, within a region that is today covered by tropical rainforest. Archaeozoological and archaeobotanical evidence indicates that these hunter-gatherers exploited tropical forest resources, yet the contribution of these resources to their overall subsistence strategies has, as in other Late Pleistocene rainforest settings, remained relatively unexplored. We build on previous work in this tropical region by applying both bulk and sequential stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis to human and faunal tooth enamel from the sites of Batadomba-lena, Fa Hien-lena, and Balangoda Kuragala. Tooth enamel preservation was assessed by means of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. We use these data to produce a detailed stable isotope ecology for Late Pleistocene-Holocene foragers in Sri Lanka from ∼36-29,000 to 3000 cal. years BP, allowing us to test the degree of human tropical forest resource reliance over a considerable time period. Given that non-human primates dominate the mammalian assemblages at these sites, we also focus on the stable isotope composition of three monkey species in order to study their ecological preferences and, indirectly, human hunting strategies. The results confirm a strong human reliance on tropical forest resources from ∼36-29,000 cal. years BP until the Iron Age ∼3 cal. years BP, while sequential tooth data show that forest resources were exploited year-round. This strategy was maintained through periods of evident environmental change at the Last Glacial Maximum and upon the arrival of agriculture. Long-term tropical forest reliance was supported by the specialised capture of non-human primates, although the isotopic data revealed no evidence for niche distinction between the hunted species. We conclude that humans rapidly developed a specialisation in the exploitation of South Asia's tropical forests following their arrival in this region.


Asunto(s)
Esmalte Dental , Ecosistema , Fósiles , Bosque Lluvioso , Adaptación Fisiológica , Animales , Bosques , Frutas , Haplorrinos , Humanos , Isótopos , Sri Lanka
7.
Science ; 347(6227): 1246-9, 2015 Mar 13.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25766234

RESUMEN

Human occupation of tropical rainforest habitats is thought to be a mainly Holocene phenomenon. Although archaeological and paleoenvironmental data have hinted at pre-Holocene rainforest foraging, earlier human reliance on rainforest resources has not been shown directly. We applied stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis to human and faunal tooth enamel from four late Pleistocene-to-Holocene archaeological sites in Sri Lanka. The results show that human foragers relied primarily on rainforest resources from at least ~20,000 years ago, with a distinct preference for semi-open rainforest and rain forest edges. Homo sapiens' relationship with the tropical rainforests of South Asia is therefore long-standing, a conclusion that indicates the time-depth of anthropogenic reliance and influence on these habitats.


Asunto(s)
Fósiles , Bosque Lluvioso , Animales , Arqueología , Isótopos de Carbono/análisis , Esmalte Dental/química , Dieta , Historia Antigua , Humanos , Isótopos de Oxígeno/análisis , Paleodontología , Plantas , Sri Lanka , Tiempo , Árboles
8.
J Hum Evol ; 61(3): 254-69, 2011 Sep.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21777951

RESUMEN

Batadomba-lena, a rockshelter in the rainforest of southwestern Sri Lanka, has yielded some of the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in South Asia. H. sapiens foragers were present at Batadomba-lena from ca. 36,000 cal BP to the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene. Human occupation was sporadic before the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Batadomba-lena's Late Pleistocene inhabitants foraged for a broad spectrum of plant and mainly arboreal animal resources (monkeys, squirrels and abundant rainforest snails), derived from a landscape that retained equatorial rainforest cover through periods of pronounced regional aridity during the LGM. Juxtaposed hearths, palaeofloors with habitation debris, postholes, excavated pits, and animal and plant remains, including abundant Canarium nutshells, reflect intensive habitation of the rockshelter in times of monsoon intensification and biome reorganisation after ca. 16,000 cal BP. This period corresponds with further broadening of the economic spectrum, evidenced though increased contribution of squirrels, freshwater snails and Canarium nuts in the diet of the rockshelter occupants. Microliths are more abundant and morphologically diverse in the earliest, pre-LGM layer and decline markedly during intensified rockshelter use on the wane of the LGM. We propose that changing toolkits and subsistence base reflect changing foraging practices, from shorter-lived visits of highly mobile foraging bands in the period before the LGM, to intensified use of Batadomba-lena and intense foraging for diverse resources around the site during and, especially, following the LGM. Traces of ochre, marine shell beads and other objects from an 80 km-distant shore, and, possibly burials reflect symbolic practices from the outset of human presence at the rockshelter. Evidence for differentiated use of space (individual hearths, possible habitation structures) is present in LGM and terminal Pleistocene layers. The record of Batadomba-lena demonstrates that Late Pleistocene pathways to (aspects of) behavioural 'modernity' (composite tools, practice of symbolism and ritual, broad spectrum economy) were diverse and ecologically contingent.


Asunto(s)
Dieta , Animales , Arqueología , Biota , Cuevas , Mamíferos , Plantas , Sri Lanka , Árboles , Humanos
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